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Rugged carrier serves rugged COM Express modules

Oct 21, 2014 — by Eric Brown 680 views

MEN Micro announced a rugged, industrial temperature “XC15” carrier board for its Linux-ready Rugged COM Express modules, including a Core-i7 CB70C COM.

For years, MEN Micro, which offers a wide variety of embedded systems and components, focused its computer-on-module efforts on its Linux-ready “Embedded System Module” (ESM) form-factor. The company still sells several dozen ESM, ESMini, and ESMexpress variants, but more recently has launched a new line of COM Express modules it dubs Rugged COM Express. Now, the company has a carrier board that is just as tough as its new modules.

XC15 carrier board unpopulated (left), and equipped with a Rugged COM Express module
(click images to enlarge)

The microATX form-factor XC15 carrier board supports the CC10C COM Express Type 6 module we covered earlier this year, which mixes a Freescale i.MX6 with an Altera Cyclone IV FPGA. The carrier board also supports the only other Rugged COM Express product to date — an Intel Core (“Ivy Bridge”) based CB70C, which has previously escaped our attention (see farther below).

The 244 x 244mm XC15 carrier supports -40 to 85°C operation, and provides 10g/16m “bump” resistance, as well as support for high altitudes and 95 percent humidity. The board’s “sturdy and securely screwed aluminum frame” provides 100 percent EMC protection as well as shock and vibration resistance and protection against dust and chemicals, says MEN Micro. The board provides an ATX standard power supply using a 24-pin connector, and also furnishes a 12 V supply for PCI-Express (PCIe) via a 4-pin connector.

Two more XC15 views, with the image on right showing an add-in card
(click images to enlarge)

“Almost all” existing serial I/O can be routed from the modules’ COM Express connectors to the carrier board. The board supports COM Express Type 6 modules, including Basic, Compact, and Mini varieties, including its Rugged COM Express modules and its non-ruggedized CC10 module. The XC15 is equipped with a COM Express socket, as well as seven PCIe slots and a PCI Express Graphics (PEG) interface, which uses a standard PCIe x16 connector.

XC15 block diagram
(click image to enlarge)

Display interfaces include a VGA port, three DisplayPorts, and a pair of LVDS connectors. The board provides four SATA connectors and two CAN interfaces, available via SA-Adapters, or you can swap out the CAN ports for a single LPC interface.

XC15 coastline ports
(click image to enlarge)

Other I/O includes a gigabit Ethernet port, four USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, and a USB 2.0 OTG port. An SD slot, a serial port, audio I/O, and an onboard SPI interface round out the I/O firepower. You also get some LEDs, a reset button, and a 4-pin fan header with controllable speed support.


CB70C Rugged COM Express module

The XC15 supports both the CC10C and CB70C Rugged COM Express Type 6 modules. The latter is an Intel Core i7-3612QE based COM from the third, Ivy Bridge generation. The quad-core, 8-thread processor is clocked at 2.1GHz (3.1GHz turbo) and ships with a QM77 controller hub. A few other Ivy Bridge options are also available.

CB70C module
(click image to enlarge)

The Linux-ready, 135 x 105 x 18mm CB70C module conforms to the VITA 59 RCE Basic format. It supports industrial temperatures, and offers shock and vibration support. The module ships with 8GB of soldered DDR3 SDRAM with ECC support, as well as 16MB of boot flash.

CB70C block diagram
(click image to enlarge)

Interfaces include VGA (2560 x 1600 pixels), dual-channel LVDS, and three DDI connections for video, as well as four SATA ports for storage, split between SATA 2.0 and 3.0 ports. You also get a gigabit Ethernet controller, and support for eight USB ports, also split between 2.0 and 3.0 versions.

Eight GPIO lanes and HD audio are available along with LPC, SPI, and SMBus connections. Seven PCIe interfaces are available for expansion, and a board management controller includes a watchdog and various monitoring functions.

Further information

The XC15 is available now for $684, with delivery in six to eight weeks ARO. More information may be found at the MEN Micro XC15 product page. More on the CB70C module may be found on the CB70C product page.

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